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New Rogue Trader Designer Diary!


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#1 FFG Ross Watson

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:14 AM

Hey Rogue Trader fans!

This week I present a guest Designer Diary from writer Sam Stewart. Sam talks about working on the Starships chapter for Rogue Trader, so definitely give it a look!



#2 Dezmond

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:27 AM

+++++Her armoured prow and multiple void shields mean she is all but impervious to lesser foes, and her macrocannon broadsides can devastate an opponent in a few well-aimed salvoes. However, the Sovereign Venture is more than just a warship—she is a five plus kilometer long emissary of the Imperium to the Expanse. Her hull is covered in statues and engravings of the God-Emperor a hundred metres high, so that all who see her knows where her captain’s allegiance lies. Alongside her cargo holds are Ministorium temples and barracks capable of transporting an entire regiment. When the Sovereign Venture arrives over a heathen world, its rulers are left with a stark choice: submit to the rule of the Imperium, or be destroyed.+++++

<Polite applause>

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you write GW fluff text.

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And just imagine the hardware The Deathwatch must get to play with!

:-)



#3 Redeucer

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:59 AM

Thanks, Ross!  A little more crunch this time.

It's nice to now have an idea where RT is set (Koronus Expanse).

And at least an idea of starship construction with Components and Complications.

Definitely like the write up on the Sovereign Venture.

Now I'm looking forward to future updates!



#4 Maxim C. Gatling

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:48 AM

So far, so good.  I, for one, am looking forward to the shipbuilding system.  I like how he went on to say that  the ships will have personality.

And the other poster mentioned, "more crunch".  Excellent, thanks.  I think it was a well-written diary giving concrete expectations without hard and fast commitments to details which was perfect.

Thanks!



#5 Evilref

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:59 AM

Definitely looking forward to seeing how the system for this breaks down. I'm assuming it's open and customisable for additions (see future supplements).



#6 Traveller61

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:45 AM

This book is looking better by the minute  and that Sovereign Venture is one impressive ship; and at 5km she is almost Battleship size (as per BFG).  More please!!

DW



#7 Cat that Walked by Himself

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:09 PM

GenCon can not come too quickly. I haven't been this excited about a game for years!



#8 Xathess Wolfe

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:29 PM

Excellent Diary, and I love the way he specifically addressed the concerns of the community, meaning that you're paying attention to us.

Excellent work, excellent diary, and I can't wait to see Rogue Trader in action.



#9 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 06:10 PM

Maybe I missed something, but where is the Koronus Expanse at? Is it in/near the Calixis Sector or is it a new location?



#10 Lightbringer

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:10 AM

I'm guessing the Koronus Expanse must be inside the Halo Stars? I don't know, that's just speculation. I mean the whole Halo Stars region is much larger than an Imperial Sector, so maybe it's a particularly resource-rich region within the Halo stars. Again, just a guess... 

What I like about this diary is that it's giving some concrete figures abut the size of starships. It actually puts a minimum size on interstellar spacecraft of 1,000 meters: as far as I know this is the first time any 40K setting writer has stuck their neck out and said this outright. It's been a source of speculation amongst fans for ages. 

The general fan view (based upon what Andy Chambers had said ages ago, and a more recent post from Richard Williams, a BL author, on the BL forums) was that a standard Imperial Cruiser was 3 kilometres long. People had extrapolated from this that the smallest interstellar craft was a cobra destroyer, which scaled next to an Imperial cruiser would be about 750 metres long. 

The new designer diaries posit a slightly larger scale for Imperial vessels, but not monumentally so.

Personally, I like this. FFG are actually drawing in all of the vague fluff about starships and establishing some basic ground rules not only about their own system, but about the setting as a whole. I'm getting excited about Rogue Trader!   



#11 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:16 AM

In the next designer diary can we get more information on the Koronus Expanse?

Or info on the origins for PCS?



#12 Xathess Wolfe

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:12 PM

Peacekeeper_b said:

In the next designer diary can we get more information on the Koronus Expanse?

Or info on the origins for PCS?

I asked the exact same question over on dark reign asking where the expanse was, and so far no one knows.

I seriously hope its near the Calixis Sector so that I can if I want do a few crossover games with Dark Heresy and Deathwatch when it comes out, without having to rewrite entire swaths of fluff.



#13 FFG Ross Watson

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:24 PM

Xathess, were I you I would not be worried. 

I can only say right now that the Koronus Expanse and the Calixis Sector are linked in some interesting and unusual ways...

 



#14 Kage2020

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:56 PM

The general fan view (based upon what Andy Chambers had said ages ago, and a more recent post from Richard Williams, a BL author, on the BL forums) was that a standard Imperial Cruiser was 3 kilometres long. People had extrapolated from this that the smallest interstellar craft was a cobra destroyer, which scaled next to an Imperial cruiser would be about 750 metres long. 

I select to see it as a quite reasonable average value for the size of ships, not really the true range.  It's a good value, to be fair, and one that fits into some of the crazy imagery of the 40k universe.

Edit: The stupid quotation system struck again.  Sorry for that.

Kage

 

 

 

 

 



#15 Dezmond

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:16 PM

It is certainly true that one should use generalisations - huge, vast, titanic etc. when talking about 40kisms, precisely to stop people reading to much in to things...

:-)



#16 Kage2020

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:20 PM

Remember, Dezmond, that not everyone sees the 40k universe through the same lens.  To suggest that 40k must be viewed in a certain way is akin to saying that there is only one way of looking at the divine, or only one true god.  It works for some and it's great for them, providing them sustenance and inspiration when required, but to others that same solution is little more than ashes on the tongue.  To them, another way of looking at it is their thing.  Another god?  Many other gods?  No god or gods?  (God is equivalent to goddess herein.)

...And there are even those dastardly people who select to view multiple paradigms.  Where the trappings of one faith or another just doesn't quite fit their own sense—their own... sense.  And on top of that (or beneath it; don't read too much into the directional sense of this!) there are anthropologists.  Dang their nature of being "rudderless in a sea of ecclesiastical possibility."

Huge?  Vast?  Titanic?  Great imagery there!  

On the other hand?  Do you need to remove the meaning for those that select to see it, even if it is between the lines?  Sure, it's their meaning and not yours, but it is meaning nonetheless.  The joy, for me, is the meeting of minds and the discussion.  I'll leave the sermons behind, however.  (The irony here being that it is almost becoming a sermon in and of itself.)

But, pray, continue.  Tell me what to think!  

Kage



#17 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:58 PM

FFG Ross Watson said:

Xathess, were I you I would not be worried. 

I can only say right now that the Koronus Expanse and the Calixis Sector are linked in some interesting and unusual ways...

Thats good to hear. I assume it is part of the Halo Stars and the referenc to Expanse is probably some sort of push into the Halo Stars to broaden the borders of the Calixis Sector.

Course, my group will be going out in serch of more clues on the Tyrant Star.



#18 Lightbringer

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 10:48 PM

FFG Ross Watson said:

Xathess, were I you I would not be worried. 

I can only say right now that the Koronus Expanse and the Calixis Sector are linked in some interesting and unusual ways...

 

OK, I'm going to put on my magic predicting fez again, and take a wild stab in the dark and suggest that the Koronus Expanse is a region within the Halo Stars that for some reason has recently become open to Rogue Trader exploration from the Calixis sector, perhaps because a new warp-route has been located, or perhaps because a formerly huge warp storm has abated. 

This region has the potential to be immensely productive for the Imperium, maybe containing frontier worlds, alien empires etc. This has prompted a "gold rush" of Rogue Traders, of whom the players are part, to storm in and seize as  much as possible before other RTs gobble up all the resources. 

Perhaps the whole Haarlock legacy trilogy links in to all this...maybe the climax of the Haarlock legacy trilogy is that the players discover some McGuffin (a space map, dark age of technology navicomputer etc etc) that allows them to lead this goldrush into the Koronus expanse.

Building upon this creaky tower of unsubstantiated speculation, I would imagine that the setting or RT would be 30-50 years AFTER the setting of Dark Heresy , as opposed to contemporaneous, to give players in-game time to complete the Haarlock trilogy. The entry power level for players in RT would be the same as characters who have completed the Haarlock legacy trilogy. 

Anyway, just a thought!       



#19 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:39 AM

Its a good guess Lightbringer and I was rihgt with you until you said 30-50 years after DH. I still believe it will be the same time line. But I agree its probably a new warp route or a warp storm vanishing, probably in realtion to the Tyrant Star (which I beleive is to be the major McGuffin of BI/FFG 40KRPG). It may involve the Haarlock trilogy, and probably does, but I dont think it is set up to wait for characters of a certain power level.

It is going to be a gold rush and that is why you will have a bunch of 750XP-1000XP characters getting new charter contracts to raid into the Koronus Expanse inthe name of the Lord Sector Calixis Hax.

So more or less a bunch of poor contractors will have access to crappy ships and permission to find gold for a rich man. And I have a god aweful feeling that upgrades for you ships will cost XP and be available as Talents at certain ranks, which will be very annoying.

God I hope Im wrong.

 



#20 Lightbringer

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 01:11 AM

Peacekeeper_b said:

And I have a god aweful feeling that upgrades for you ships will cost XP and be available as Talents at certain ranks, which will be very annoying.

God I hope Im wrong.

Hmmm...I can see why you'd have reservations about such a system. It would tend to create either highly skilled characters flying a "bucket of bolts" OR less skilled characters cruising around in an indestructible "Death Star."

What springs to mind is the chantry design system that White Wolf used to have in Mage:the Ascension, though I recognise it's not too far away from what you're talking about, Peacekeeper_b. Under that system, each player character was able to buy a certain number of "chantry design" points during character creation that could be pooled with other characters to spend on creating a flashier chantry with more resources, magical sources etc. I guess where you and that system would part ways is that character design points could be spent on the chantry, so you'd end up with weak characters in a strong chantry.

A "middle way" strategy might be to automatically give each player 5 "ship design points" which can be pooled and spent on the ship....BUT NO MORE THAN THAT, ie they couldn't buy more than 5 points and as such degrade their character to boost the power of their ship. So a team of 2 player characters has a 10 point ship, a team of 5 has a 25 point ship, and so on. This would make a certain amount of sense, as it would follow that a team of 7 major characters (as we are told RT PCs are likely to be) would have a better ship than a team with 2 major characters. 

This approach makes more sense than a team with 7 characters so unskilled that they can barely tie their shoelaces piloting an Emperor class Batttleship simply because they've spent all their XP on the ship!    






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